Explorer: Naya Winota Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide
In today's article, I present in my guide everything you need to know about Naya Winota, which is possibly the current best deck in Magic Arena's new format, Explorer.Edit Article
Explorer, was released last Thursday and after a few hours of technical problems to play, the community followed in droves to enjoy it and discover the most viable strategies, as well as experimenting with innovative and/or interesting ideas. Since its launch, I've been playing at least ten games a day to analyze how the Metagame is developing, and what strategies are being more present and more viable at the moment. I've found several lists of all styles in ranked games and the Explorer Event, ranging from well-crafted brews like Mono-Black Golos, Four-Color Genesis and even Tibalt's Trickery, to more established Pioneer archetypes, like Azorius Control, Rakdos Sacrifice, Mardu/Esper Parhelion and of course
is Explorer's best deck, and given that it's currently Pioneer's most popular strategy, it won't surprise me if it stays that way over the next few weeks, until the community finds a way to counter-interact with its game plan, or until an eventual ban on Winota, Joiner of Forces.
What is Naya Winota?
The MaindeckIn my list, I try to follow the pattern of most Pioneer Naya Winota decks, with obvious replacements for cards currently unavailable in Explorer (like Gilded Goose in place of Elvish Mystic). The skeleton of the archetype is quite robust and offers around 4 to 6 flexible slots on the maindeck.
Streets of New Capenna, Courier's Briefcase, which works like copies 5 and 6 of Prosperous Innkeeper and still has an ability that, on rare occasions, allows you to draw three cards.
The SideboardAs the Metagame is not yet well established, I designed my Sideboard keeping in mind the main decks I expect to face today, in addition to also having answers for possible “surprise factors” that may arise.
Mulligan and Stances
MulliganThe hand you're looking for in most games is this one:
StancesIt is important to note that in most games,
you're the beatdown, with the slight exception of archetypes that try to play “under” when you are on the draw, as can be the case against Mono Red or Gruul Aggro. As the beatdown, you almost always want to stay ahead, and the crucial difference is the means by which you need to do this. Against
Aggro, it tends to be more important to prioritize the combo plan with Winota, Joiner of Forces, but there are times when casting Esika's Chariot to generate blockers and buy time to cast Tovolar's Huntmaster and stabilizing the board is the best route. Against
Control, the combo plan is less important because it will rarely resolve the match (Winota will most likely be removed before the combat phase, or a sweeper will be waiting for you on their turn), so you need to evaluate the best ways to establish pressure against the opponent and which cards put you in a more favorable position, to play around disruptions and resolve them when the opponent needs to be more proactive to not lose the game.
Midrange, the situation is similar, but you should prioritize ways to produce 2-for-1 effects because the opponent will always need to respect the combo and save a removal for Winota, Joiner of Forces, since mana dorks tend to stay in play/serve as blockers in this game. Against
Combo, and currently there are few combos in the format, you should prioritize
exclusivelythe combo, as your clock won't be fast enough by conventional means.
InOn the Play:
How to beat Naya Winota?
“how is it possible to beat Naya Winota?”. The problem with Naya Winota is that it is a Midrange that operates with a combo, forcing distinct strategies where it can establish value while you need to respect the possibility of the combo at every turn, giving the opponent a virtual advantage because you always need to play more reactively than them.
Control the Game
Ignore them and win fasterWith a perfect hand, Naya Winota guarantees victory on turn 4 or 5, depending on what the deck's centerpiece triggers reveal. Therefore, it is possible to establish victory before the opponent through a faster combo. With the absence of archetypes like Lotus Field and Jeskai Ascendancy in the format, there are only a few combo options that are viable in Explorer, and players will need to be a little creative to find the best options in the current Metagame.